The fire danger in Chelan and Douglas counties has been raised to the moderate level.

Moderate burn risk means burning yard waste and orchard debris is not allowed without a permit from the state Department of Ecology. Campfires and barbecues are still allowed and orchardists can still burn their prunings, said Bob Plumb, Chelan County fire marshal.

“All the fire chiefs are telling me that we’re right in for where we normally would be or even a little bit behind for our fire dangers right now,” he added. “We keep getting moisture. It makes the grass grow right now down here in the valley.”

It looks like it might get hot in the lower elevations in the coming weeks, and it is definitely possible the area could enter a high fire danger in Wenatchee later this month, Plumb said. A high fire danger would prevent people from having campfires and barbecues.

Douglas County residents should remember that despite the unusual moist weather patterns fire events can still occur, said Kurt Blanchard, Douglas County fire marshal.

“Especially when we get a solid day or a couple of days of intermittent warming the grasses dry out real quick,” Blanchard said.

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Various agencies are predicting that Washington will have an above-average fire season, he said. In July and August, it is likely dry grasses and other debris present a risk.

Residents should prepare for the upcoming fire season by creating defensible space around their houses, Blanchard said. It is also important to make sure addresses are visible and the numbers reflective, if possible. 

Reflective address signs are available from fire districts, Blanchard said.

The snowpack for the Wenatchee Valley is 20-30% below average, according to the National Weather Service. An 

above average potential for large wildfires is predicted this year due to the drought conditions, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.